Special Guest: (Written) Mark E. Smith of the Fall (Part 1 of 1): is an irascible genius. It has been said that journalists might rather punch their way out of a brick wall than to interview the frontman of “The Fall”, one of the most notable bands to come from the post-punk era. Always one to speak boldly, and never shy about demeaning whomever he feels deserving, (sometimes with violence) we actually seem to have gotten him on a good day. Below, he touches upon the importance of music, and his love of record producers.
Special Guests: (Audio) Hauschka (a.k.a. Volker Bertelmann) (Part 1 of 2): is a wonderful example of a musician bridging the gap between the vibrant but challenging sounds of modern classical music with a more traditional and conservative style of playing, keeping classical music moving forward but doing it without substituting beauty or taste. Hauschka started his musical education as a child studying classical music on piano, but stopped around 18 to study medicine and economics, only to be drawn into hip hop and electronic music a few years later. His music has shifted away from the straightforward hip hop and electronic sounds that we know in the clubs today to a more classical vein (ala John Cage with his interpretation of the prepared piano), using the piano as an experiment and adopting natural instruments but with electronic music in mind. Recently he teamed up with one of the biggest names in classical music, Hilary Hahn, to record Silfra. In the interview, we talk about his evolution as an artist, working with Hillary Hahn, the meaning behind Silfra and the process in making it, and we get into his other latest works and his remix album and wax philosophic on the concept of remixing.
The Fall (The 2013 Mark E. Smith interview)
GTV- The band’s name was taken from Albert Camus’ “The Fall” which is said by many to be Camus’ most advanced and least understood book. (Sartre amongst them) Why did you take the title? Does the work and it’s interpretation still influence the band after your more than 35 years in existence?
Mark E. Smith – WANTED TO CALL THE GROUP IN ITS NEMESIS “THE OUTSIDER”, BUT IN THOSE DAYS FINALLY DISCOVERED THAT A LOT OF GROUPS WERE CALLED THAT SO I DECIDED ON “THE FALL” INSTEAD.
GTV- Your “existence” as a band has come in constantly shifting forms,with no member ever remaining throughout except yourself, to which you have stated to the effect that you are The Fall; that you, and any other fashion even if it were something like a monkey beating on cans and yourself would be “The Fall.” We’re not criticizing that, but would you say this is what has led to the band’s high turnover rate, or is there another reason you could name as the primary issue?
Mark E. Smith – LIKE CAMUS, I WAS A VERY DISGRUNTLED GOALKEEPER.
GTV- Considering the heavy rotation of the band, aren’t you worried about having your wife play keys?
Mark E. Smith – THE FACT IS THAT ELENI IS A SUPERB KEYBOARD PLAYER, THE FACT THAT SHE’S MY WIFE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
GTV- You keep your artistic talents mostly to music, and rather prolifically. If not for music, what other form of art would you pursue?
Mark E. Smith – I AM NOT A MUSICIAN, I AM A WRITER.
GTV- Forming in 1976, and identified and shaped by the “Post-Punk” genre, you hammered out a style that is unique and immediately recognizable, your sound has, of course, taken different sounds and forms throughout the years, but always maintains a strong core, plus you maintain a consistent devoted following. What would you say that you provide to the music world that no one else can? Why does it still work when so many other Post-Punk bands can sound so dated?
Mark E. Smith – APPRECIATED THE QUESTION. THIS IS A QUESTION THAT I AM OFTEN ASKED, AS I DON’T LISTEN TO ANY OLD FALL MATERIAL I DON’T KNOW.
GTV- Being a more literate band than most, I assume you are familiar with Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club” (also made into a movie) which, partly, deals with a group eschewing society’s constraints of a pacified and manipulated population, and acting on man’s more primal (truer) nature. I see The Fall’s music an artistic realization in this fashion, and thus it’s lasting appeal. Not to flatter your ego, for which you are known, but would you agree?
Mark E. Smith – NO FILM IS AS GOOD AS THE BOOK.
GTV- Also you complain a lot about other bands, or, rather, you get press attention when you state a negative remark about another band or on music in general, and more than likely we’d be in agreement, but there has got to be something good to speak of on music.
Mark E. Smith – MUSIC IS, I THINK, A MUCH ABUSED FORM. IT IS TOO EASY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. WHEN YOU THINK OF STOCKHAUSEN,THE MONKS, ETC. YOU REALIZE IT IS NECESSARY TO CONTINUE.
GTV- Theoretically speaking, we have the potential to achieve immortality with the aid of nano-robots, would you go for injecting yourself with nano-robots for immortality? Assuming you would, what if the condition was that drinking alcohol would destroy the robots (and thus, your immortality?) What if the necessary condition was you had to be friends with Oasis (for eternity?)
Mark E. Smith – SINCE WHEN?
GTV- What is the title of The Fall’s new album. What’s the significance of the title?
Mark E. Smith – RE-MIT. WHICH MEANS I NEED A GLOVE WHEN I GO OUT.
GTV- Where did you look to for inspiration for this album?
Mark E. Smith – TRIED TO KEEP IT AS SHARP AND HARD AS POSSIBLE. YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH INDOLENT PRODUCERS.
GTV- What piece of work are you most proud of?
Mark E. Smith – RE-MIT, MAYBE HEX.